Articles filed under Energy Policy from Europe
John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, will today launch a ferocious attack on the "landowners and nimbys" who he says are holding up the installation of wind farms across Britain and thus hindering the fight against climate change. In unashamed class-warrior style, Mr Prescott lashes out at opponents of windpower who successfully block planning applications for wind turbines because they may spoil their "chocolate box view".
Government plans to generate 30 per cent of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2020 are doomed to failure, according to the chief executive of one of the world's biggest utility companies. Wulf Bernotat, chief executive of E.ON, said that British politicians needed to stop misleading the public about what was achievable. He said that British plans to build 33 gigawatts of offshore wind power, up from 0.6 gigawatts at present, was impossible, given the necessary investment and relatively short timeframe.
The energy regulator revealed on Friday the figure as the likely price tag for closing cheaper coal-fired plants and installing cleaner power sources, as well as replacing Britain's ageing infrastructure. Utility companies will have to raise the capital, but they are likely to pass costs on to consumers, causing energy bills to rise between 14pc and 25pc over the next decade, peaking at 60pc above today's prices in 2016 under the worst-case scenario. Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, the French power retailer, welcomed the report for "highlighting how massive investment is urgently needed in power stations and infrastructure".
Cash-strapped Britain is now facing a looming energy gap, priced yesterday by Ofgem at up to £200bn. This is the sum that may be required to build new energy infrastructure while meeting environmental targets. Who pays, you wonder. Well, you do, with the pain intensifying around 2015 when Britain shuts down its most polluting coal-fired power plants and our old nukes. Then, household bills could jump by 60pc - enough to make anyone's hair stand on end.
The European Commission is expected to introduce a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that directs the largest slices of €50 billion available for research and development to solar power and capturing and burying emissions from coal plants. ...Christian Kjaer, the chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association, ...questioned the decision to give nuclear power and carbon-capture technologies significantly more than wind, which would receive €6 billion.
Danish Wind Industry Association managing director Jan Hylleberg said ‘Our surveys show there's a huge desire in the councils to construct more windmills ...however, the energy gained from any new wind turbines would almost be offset by the planned removal of older and malfunctioning ones by 2020.
Between 500 and 1,000 protesters gathered last weekend at Mont-Saint-Michel in France to demonstrate against plans to build a wind farm along the Normandy coast. They say it would be a useless eyesore disfiguring the bay area. The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW), along with four other environmental groups, organized the event "to denounce the massacre of our national and cultural heritage by the wind farm scourge." Though protestors hailed from France, Britain, Belgium, Holland, and Italy, the event received very little media coverage.
We can be fiercely protective of the green and pleasant land itself, or what remains of it. And it has never needed more protecting, because this autumn a new quango - created, symbolically, by the unelected Lord Mandelson - may usher in the biggest change to the landscape in our lifetime. ... Well, the Government wants to increase renewable energy production and is irritated that wind-farm developers are constantly being delayed, or even thwarted, by challenges from local objectors and conservation groups such as the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.
Two Danish experts in the field of wind energy will be in Washington for the next three days to speak on the subject of wind generated electricity. One would expect they are here to brag on the fact that their country is a leader in the field and that they already satisfy, as President Obama puts it, "20 percent of the electricity through wind power." One would be wrong in such an expectation. They are here to warn us about the dangers of putting our electricity needs in the wind power basket.
Wind farms are spreading like a cancer and Teesdale must not be seen as a soft touch by green energy firms, the chairman of Durham County Council says. Cllr Brian Myers visited Bolam recently to find out more about Npower's plan to build a wind farm near the village. The unitary authority's chairman told residents that he was worried about the spread of wind farms in County Durham.
This must be one of the first instances of a civilisation voluntarily and consciously going backwards. We might as well rely for our economic and industrial future on tens of millions of hamsters pattering frantically round treadmills. Hamsters only do this by night. Windmills only make electricity when it is windy. See the problem? For most of us, the truth has yet to sink in.
Rupert Soames, the chief executive of Aggreko, the FTSE 250 emergency power generator, says the UK must prepare seriously for the danger of being hit by similar blackouts within the next decade. "It has happened before in developed countries and we should not kid ourselves that it cannot happen here," he said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. "The UK has an unacceptably high risk of interrupted power supply." ...sceptics worry that a so-called "intelligent grid" could also be used to ration consumers in the event of insufficient capacity.
Energy experts at Carter Jonas in Peterborough have welcomed the lifting of a policy restriction against wind farm development in and around Oundle and Thrapston and nearby rural locations. For some time now, the energy team specialists have been urging local authorities to accommodate national targets for renewable energy when it comes to local planning policies and to ensure that development is appropriate in terms of location and being sustainable.
Ministers are considering whether to establish a "conservation bank" to help overcome planning objections to wind farms and other renewable-energy projects. Planning problems have held back British onshore wind farms. Vestas blamed nimby (not in my back yard) objections for its recent decision to shut Britain's only wind-turbine plant, on the Isle of Wight (see panel below). Vestas and other energy groups say planning delays and uncertainties make it riskier to invest in Britain than in other countries.
Jeremy Paxman's brother has launched a battle against plans for nine 120ft wind turbines overlooking Dartmoor national park which he said would "stick out like a sore thumb". James Paxman also criticised the Government's policy of subsidising wind energy, arguing that turbines were one of the least cost effective and reliable ways to generate electricity.
How would you imagine an environmentalist would react when presented with the following proposition? A power company plans to build a new development on a stretch of wild moorland. It will be nearly seven miles long, and consist of 150 structures, each made of steel and mounted on hundreds of tons of concrete. ...The answer is that if you are like many modern environmentalists you will support this project without question. You will dismiss anyone who opposes it as a nimby ...and campaign for thousands more.
Europe's largest onshore windfarm project has been thrown in severe doubt after the RSPB and official government agencies lodged formal objections to the 150-turbine plan, it emerged today. The setback adds to the problems facing the government's ambition to install 10,000 new turbines across the UK by 2020 as part of its plan to cut the carbon emissions causing climate change.
Wind farms risk becoming "redundant symbols" of Government efforts to combat climate change, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has warned. ..."What is going to happen is we will end up with these monstrosities in the landscape when other renewables have been developed and they will not take them down," she said.
We have to accept that the "real time" generation of electricity from a plethora of renewable energy is a seriously flawed strategy that will not get us closer to carbon-free generation any time soon, if ever. The "energy mix" is just a pretty lame excuse for the inadequacies of these puny wind and marine devices that litter our landscapes and seabed.
Miliband’s citing of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in support of his policy of subsidising the construction of many thousands of otherwise uneconomic wind turbines might appear grotesque, even comical; but not if you genuinely believe that Britain’s switching from coal to wind power for its electricity generation will save the lives of countless Africans. I have no idea whether Miliband truly believes that it will - but if he does, he is deluded.